For over fifty years, Graham’s expansive multidisciplinary practice has encompassed video, sculpture, photography, performance, installation, and a prolific body of writing on religion, music, art, architecture, garden design, and popular culture. Forming a central theoretical thread throughout the course of his career, his work has examined the function and role of architecture in contemporary society, and how it frames and reflects public life. Since the 1970s he has produced what he refers to as pavilions, hybrid constructions that are part architecture and part sculpture. Inspired by ornamental buildings found in 17th and 18th century European pleasure gardens, Graham’s sculptural pavilions are comprised of simple geometric forms and constructed using materials associated with corporate architecture like metal, aluminum, transparent and/or two-way mirrored glass, and sometimes juxtaposed with natural elements like hedges. Functioning as built environments, the pavilions create unusual optical and physical experiences for the viewer – blurring the lines between public and private space – and making apparent that our material surroundings structure the very core of our societies by determining the form of our vision and sight.
A selection of photographs relating to his seminal magazine artwork, Homes for America(1966), and taken by Graham during a 2006 visit to his native suburban New Jersey, feature images of diverse architectural styles punctuated with lawns, topiaries, and shrubs. Displayed in a sequenced formation on the gallery walls, each image highlights Graham’s interest in serial structures, topology, and systems of information as evident in the peculiar color ranges, materials, and repetitive geometries of the suburban American landscape. A series of architectural models and video works provide further context for his ongoing exploration of the built world. New Works By A Small-Town Boy is on view at Regen Projects through August 18. 6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles. photographs Oliver Kupper